Friday, July 1, 2011

10 days in New Hampshire

Bill and I made a trip to New Hampshire and Maine during the last week of May to visit Bill's family and also to see where he grew up. I thought it was going to be nice trip, but it ended up exceeding all my expectations. First- Bill's family is wonderful! I had a chance to meet his immediate and extended family and they were all so kind and generous!!

We had a very busy 10 days and instead of giving a play-by-play, I have uploaded some of my favorite photos in chronological order and will use those to point out highlights.

We started out with a tour of Concord, New Hampshire. This is the capitol of New Hampshire and also where Bill's Mom and Stepdad live, as well as his sister and her family.

We drove to Bristol (the small town that Billy grew up in) and made a visit to the beautiful New Found Lake. This is a pic of where a tree and rope swing used to be.... memories....
So I thought we needed to add the Emergency Room to our New Hampshire tour. Bill was taking me to the vacation village where he became a handyman. I was so excited, I forgot to remove my hand from the car door before closing it. I cut my finger pretty bad. Nice job beth.
My first stitch! It was pretty cool actually.
That is fatty tissue on the OUTSIDE of my finger!
All better, until the pain meds wore off.

After fixing up my finger, we drove back to New Found Lake to have a proper tour of the area. It became clear to me at this time that Billy grew up in an outdoor wonderland. The lake was pretty fantastic!He also took me to the Sculptured rocks area. This was another frequented swimming hole for Billy.

We stopped at this market (established in 1799-holy crap) for a beverage and a keepsake. I also saw my first whoopie pie here.
We finally made our way back to the lakeside cottages where Bill developed and refined his handyman skills.

We ended the day with a trip to the house that Bill grew up in. His Stepmom welcomed us and we sorted through several of Bill's old belongings. I learned so much about Bill and his upbringing just by visiting this super cozy house. I wish we had more room to bring stuff home. These are pics of a table that Bill built several years ago and is gorgeous!

The following day we went to Portland, Maine. This city felt like home, and not just because it is named Portland. It had the same hippie, keep it weird, eclectic feel. I loved it. We visited the waterfront and I had my first Lobster- right off the boat!

We opted to forgo the restaurant for a more authentic experience. It was also a cheaper and more fun!
YUMMO-LICIOUS! Lobster is good, but Dungeness crab is still better. Sorry New England.
I couldn't resist. It was a big claw!

Portland proper.
The wood trim on this church building was completed by Bill several years ago. Impressive detail!
Ha-ha. This sign reminded me of Portland, Oregon. Keep Portland Weird.
Maine also had gorgeous beaches. This little spot was only 20 minutes from Downtown Portland.
Gorgeous rock formations.
New Hampshire sunset on our drive home from Maine.
After traveling during the day, Bill and I spent nearly every night hanging out with his Sister. She lives a block down the street from his Mother. We enjoyed the warm nights outside and Bill also managed to make some major repairs to his Sister's garage door.
Bill's sister, Jill and her boyfriend.
Bill's Mom and Sister live in a neighborhood called turtle pond village. I thought that was just cute name until we found this snapping turtle in the yard! I love turtles!
We also spent some time in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This bridge looked just like the Hawthorne Bridge.
It was a very charming town.

More fun at Jill's house!
We took a 3 day trip to see Aunt Pat and Uncle Harry up north. We drove through the White Mountains on the way and they were impressive. This is also the location of the now destroyed, 'old man of the mountain' landmark.
Bill's Aunt lives in the Connecticut lakes area, which borders Canada. It was a long drive, but completely worth it for the family time and scenery along the way. My main goal on this part of the trip was to see a moose.

There were gorgeous lakes in this area.

And finally..... a moose! Such a cool animal! This moose crossed the street in front of our car and I was mesmerized by the length of their legs!
Bill's Aunt and Uncle lived 10 miles up a dirt road that literally bordered Canada. We saw border patrol vehicles several times a day. There was also a very unique circular house on the road that I was very curious about. Luckily, Bill's Aunt and Uncle are friends with the owner of the house. We attended their 10am weekly coffee and donuts event and Bill and I found ourselves touring every inch of the house and the adjacent 300 acres.
We climbed up onto the roof for a stunning view.
Then, he put Bill and I on the back of his 4-wheeler and basically drove up and down several VERY steep hills to give us a tour of all the water features he had created on his land. It was almost like watching a show on the discovery channel about creating a self-sustaining water ecosystem equipped with trout, beavers, deer and other fascinating wildlife species.
This is a photo from Aunt Pat's front yard. The Canadian border marker is across the street in that small body of water.
Bill with Aunt Pat and Uncle Harry.
Time to plan out our return trip.
This photo didn't really capture how cool the large storm cell clouds were. I tried though.
On our way home, we stopped at a popular vacation spot and found a white moose.
For those who haven't been to New Hampshire, it is a state that is FULL of lakes. Lakes are around every corner!
And..... Back at Jill's for more fun!
Bill and his Stepdad, Steve.
This is Braydon. He is the cutest little guy ever and lives with Bill's sister.

Our last family event was a day at Bow Lake with Bill's Cousins and Aunt.

There were big fish in Bow Lake!
We did a little kayaking.

Sunset at Bow Lake.
Bill and his cousins.
This big guy kept trying to get in through the screen. I thought it was a bat, until I turned on the lights and saw that it was a beautiful shade of green. Google told me that it's a Luna Moth. I couldn't stop watching this beautiful insect. I took about 37 pictures, but thought I would just post one.
We paid our respects on the Memorial holiday weekend.
This is Bill's Mom, Margie. She is a very cool woman and we were fortunate to spend a lot of time with her and Steve. They were also the best hosts I have ever had. Fresh fruit and breakfast were waiting for us every morning. Staying at their place was like being on vacation, so if you are reading: Thank you SO MUCH for having us!
The trip was perfect and I look forward to going back someday sooner than later. New Hampshire is gorgeous and maybe next time I'll see it when it is frozen?? We shall see.

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